South Korea calls for North’s denuclearization before dialogue

May 2 (UPI) — South Korea said it is open to dialogue if North Korea moves forward with denuclearization.

The statement from Seoul’s foreign ministry comes a day after U.S. President Donald Trump said he would “absolutely” meet with Kim Jong Un, given the right circumstances.

“Both South Korea and the United States maintain if North Korea moves in the right direction of denuclearization, the door to dialogue is open,” ministry spokesman Cho Joon-hyuk said, according to News 1.

But Cho also said there are a “number of conditions” that North Korea must meet, including a change in “behavior,” before any talks take place.

“At present such conditions are not being met,” the ministry spokesman said.

Cho said Seoul’s Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se met with U.S. State Secretary Rex Tillerson last week in New York, where the two agreed pressure on the North should continue and a hasty dialogue with North Korea would be a bad idea.

North Korea tested a ballistic missile early Saturday that ended in failure, according to the U.S. Pacific Command.

Yun also met with the top U.S. and Japanese diplomats in Seoul on Tuesday to coordinate on North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons program, Yonhap reported.

Trump’s remarks on the North Korean leader have caught the attention of Chinese state media.

But editorial statements from newspapers like the Global Times concluded on Tuesday the possibility of such an encounter is low.

On Monday Trump had said, “If it would be appropriate for me to meet with [Kim], I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it. If it’s under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”


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